51: Ash explosions reported at Indonesia, Kamchatka, and Papua New Guinea volcanoes

Sunday, March 17, 2013
By Paul Martin

March 17, 2013

INDONESIA – A small explosive eruption occurred this morning at around 08:05 local time, generating a small ash plume rising a few hundred meters above the crater. Marapi volcano, one of Sumatra’s most active, has been producing intermittent explosions with ash plumes up to 1 km high frequently since August 2011. For Indonesian standards, this is no big activity, and Indonesia’s Volcanological Survey maintains alert level II only. A larger explosive eruption from Karkar volcano (PNG) produced an ash plume rising to 28,000 ft (8.5 km). The plume is rapidly drifting NW. Activity at the Colima volcano (Mexico) continues to increase. The new lava dome in the summit crater has apparently grown enough that incandescent lava could soon start descending into the Lumbre canyon on the western flank and produce pyroclastic flows, scientists from the university of Colima have warned. In a similar way, the Cordobán and Monte Grande canyons in southwestern and southern flanks are at increased risk, and Civil Protection has advised the population to avoid these valleys. –Volcano Discovery

Quake rattles dormant NZ volcano: Two earthquakes, within minutes of each other, have rattled Aucklanders and put cracks in some driveways, but experts say it’s nothing to worry about. The first quake, registering just over three on the Richter scale, hit just after 4pm and was felt in parts of Auckland. A bigger 3.9 quake centred on Motutapu Island beside the volcano Rangitoto sent many scurrying into the streets. Although the quakes were small, both were shallow, at less than 6km deep. Auckland is believed to be far from major fault lines, but the city is built on a field of more than 40 volcanoes, the youngest of which – Rangitot0 – blew up only 700 years ago. -ID

Shiveluch unleashes ash plume: Kamchatka’s Shiveluch volcano in the Russian Far East has been spewing ash to a height of 6 kilometers above sea level. There is no danger to the population; no volcanic dust has been recorded in surrounding villages. In the last 24 hours around 90 local quakes have been registered at Shiveluch. This volcano is the northernmost, and one of the most restless of Kamchatka’s active volcanoes. –English Ruvr

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